This past week, two writers for Mother Jones contended that non-conservative Donald Trump’s presidential bid is actually a byproduct of longstanding Republican efforts to stimulate and profit from what one of them called a “climate of hate.”
In a Thursday piece, the magazine’s David Corn, best known for his role in the release of the Mitt Romney 47-percent video, offered “a short history of GOP-approved hate” that started with Sarah Palin’s attacks on Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign. It contained items such as Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” interjection; allegations that Obama went on an “apology tour” and that Obamacare included “death panels”; and birtherism (which of course predated John McCain’s choice of Palin).
According to Corn, “The GOP raised the expectations of its Obama-detesting base and primed the pump for Trump. There is not much wonder that a xenophobic and misogynistic bigot and bully who bashes immigrants and calls for a Muslim ban…should now find a receptive audience within the GOP's electorate. For years, Republicans gave their voters a taste for the reddest of meat. That increased the appetite for more. And here comes Trump the butcher with a heaping plate.”
On Monday, Kevin Drum rejected the idea that Trump is “wrecking” the Republican party: “The GOP wrecked the GOP. They're the ones who have spent the last 30 years building the kind of party that Trump appeals to.” Drum opined that Democrats as a group are much too refined to sustain a clownish, celebrity-centered candidacy like Trump’s (bolding added):
If Michael Moore entered the Democratic race, do you think he'd have the same effect? After all, he's loud, he's funny, and he's unapologetically liberal.
But he wouldn't have any serious impact. He'd build a small movement and get some good press, and that would be that. There just aren't enough Democrats around who'd find his brand of rabble-rousing convincing presidential material. The Democratic establishment hasn't spent the last 30 years building that kind of party.